Same old mistakes haunt Chivas USA in season finale

Chivas striker Victor Estupinan

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CARSON, Calif. — The first year of Robin Fraser's building project at Chivas USA came to an end on Saturday night as the Rojiblancos fell 3-1 to the Seattle Sounders in the home finale.

WATCH: Full Match Highlights

As has been the case throughout the season, Chivas began the match strong with several early chances. But in the end, it was once again defensive miscues at important times that cost the club a result.

For a team that ended the season with one win in their last 11 matches, it was disappointing way to close the year.

“We possessed the ball great in the first half, but we weren't too dangerous with it,” said goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “Come the second half, we made two changes to the lineup and in a ten minute span... there were two poor turnovers and a lack of urgency to react to those turnovers. And a team like Seattle, with the weapons that they have, will bury them

“Going into tonight, the focus was a little bit of pride and to give the supporters something to cheer about, so it's disappointing.”

Although the Rojiblancos finish the year at just 8-14-12, they also hold the distinction of having been in nearly all their games. The defeat to Seattle marked just the second time all season that they had been defeated by a margin greater than one goal.

The match itself was not without positives as the Rojiblancos look ahead to greater things in 2012. One such highlight was Victor Estupiñán scoring the lone Chivas goal, the first of his fledgling career.

The Ecuadorian has been in and out of the game day roster throughout the season, but after coming on for Juan Pablo Ángel in the second half, he had an immediate impact and offered hope for more production next season.

“I thought his energy was good,” said Fraser after the match. “He made a lot of good runs out of midfield and he gets on the end of a service and creates a goal. I thought for him, it was certainly a bright spot. Victor has worked extremely hard especially at the last stage of the season.

“He's really turned the corner in terms of maturing as a young professional. He still has a long way to go, but his attitude has gone a long way in terms of getting into the 18, getting into the game and making the most of his opportunity.”

Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at adam.m.serrano@gmail.com.